Farm-to-table fresh at Chatterbox Brews

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 9:56 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A restaurant in Tekamah is attracting people and bringing tasty menu items to main street in northeast Nebraska.

Chatterbox Brews has been open for about four years. And in that short amount of time, it’s already making a big impact on the community and the region.

“I was living back east, I was away for about 15 years,” owner Cindy Chatt said. “I decided that I didn’t want to work in analytics anymore.” So, Chatt decided to return to her hometown to try something new. She wanted to start a business that would bring people to the community. The name of her business has a tie to her grandfather.

“My grandfather flew B-25′s in World War II, and his plane was the “Chatterbox”,” Chatt said. “After the war, he came back here, ended up in Tekamah and farmed. He lived a mile from me my whole childhood. I have very fond memories of my grandpa and lots of stories of the good old days from him.” It turns out her grandfather was a decorated pilot. “He had a couple of distinguished flying crosses and a lot of other medals from the war,” Chatt said. Now, his memory is kept alive at this people-attracting restaurant on main street.

“Our focus is really farm to table,” Chatt said. “We have a farm five miles outside of town, so we’ll have lots of produce, including peppers, tomatoes, and we also raise our own cattle. So we feature some of our own beef. Our steak bites, filets and cheeseburgers are all fabulous. We try to get as much stuff as we can local. I work with a butcher from Blair, at the Blair Meat Market, so we get local produce, local meat.”

Chatt understands that having a business like this on main street in Tekamah is important to the rural town. “One of the most important things is, if it’s somebody local, they think about the community,” Chatt said. “The Chatterbox has become a hub, and a center of town. It just brings people together, which is what I think is the most important part of it, and it makes it cool.”

Chatterbox Brews was on the 2021 Nebrska Tourism Passport Program this year. That helped bring in a number of new visitors. “It’s fun to see them walk in and say wow, this is a cool place, we didn’t expect this in a small town like this,” Chatt said.

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